The Silver Guardian – Preview
The Silver Guardian:
Original Air Dates: April 1st, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Suigin may be poor, but he’s without a doubt one of the best online video game players. This alternate identity however, is known only to Riku Rei, Suigin’s classmate. One day she gives him a mysterious mobile device. But before she’s able to explain its function, Riku Rei is captured and Suigin must search for a way to save her. He accidentally activates the mobile device, allowing him to dive into a whole new virtual game-world.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: If seeing the words “short form” in an anime’s description makes you cringe in fear of the animation quality or style, the good news is The Silver Guardian is completely average. It doesn’t employ any super experimental filters nor does it have an unorthodox art style. It’s nothing amazing in terms of quality but it’s plain and simple adherence to an average look should make for a hassle free viewing experience and lets viewers enjoy the story without becoming distracted by garish visuals.
Tom: I really have to echo Linny’s sentiments. What’s presented here is actually pretty decent and easy on the eyes compared to most of Haoliners other offerings. Haoliners, for those not in the know, is the company behind many of the digital manhua adaptations, many of which suffer from ho-hum and disappointing animation. There is heavy use of CGI in order to depict the throngs of undead assaulting our hero, and while obvious, actually does the job well enough. The Silver Guardian is no visual prized pig, but it’s competent and approachable.
Linny: When it comes to characters, our heroine, Riku Rei is introduced as a cliche perfect girl. She’s the heir of a rich family, has throngs of admirers, and seems to have devoted herself to looking after the safety and happiness of others.
Tom: I’m willing to give a pass on Riku Rei’s characterization, at least for now, as she’s been showcased very little. The same goes for Suigin’s, our leads, pretty boy friend, who’s role in the episode is one mainly of exposition. As for Suigin himself, the only character to get significant screen time, outside of his cat, is likable enough. The show shifts between two different time periods, one flashing forward to the very end of the series and another depicting the initial events that’ll one day lead us there. The heroic version ofSuigin is cocky, focused, and easy going, where as his past self is shy, flustered and much less confident. Right now he just seems like your typical shonen lead, lacking in any distinctive personality traits, but for a thirteen minute anime what we get introduced to isn’t bad.
Linny: Being a short form anime, the episode moves at a surprisingly fast pace as it tries to cram in all sorts of exposition, both in its future setting as well as the past. It isn’t an impossible pace to follow but it does not pull off the smoothest of transitions either. There’s a bit of a disconnect between the series summary and what we get in the first episode as what’s described in the summary sounds very grand but what you get in the first episode can be so plain that it may make some of the summary feel misleading. Some of the events in the first episode itself are very random which might leave you wondering what’s going on. For example, when Suigin is talking to his buddy, Ranshou, a random girl just comes and starts cuddling and rubbing herself against Ranshou even though initially it seemed like Suigin and Ranshou were hanging out alone at an otherwise deserted swimming pool. The most puzzling part is that Ranshou seems completely oblivious to her presence, save for a quick nod and just keeps talking to Suigin like nothing’s happening. This was likely done to show just how popular Ranshou is with the ladies, and how used to the attention he is, but it comes off rather strange.
Tom: Outside of that weird part with Suigin’s friend, I actually feel like what we get here is pretty straight forward. We’re introduced to the future conflict our hero will find himself pitted against, before flashing back to begin our introductions as to how all this came to be. We don’t get too many answers, but enough of an idea of how events started and where they end up that I don’t think it’s too hard to follow. That’s assuming more ladies don’t start popping out of the blue to just rub themselves off on our main cast.
Linny: So far, The Silver Guardian seems like one of the better manhua adaptations but with just a single episode under our belts I’d take that with a grain of salt. Keep in mind that most of its fellow manhua adaptations have been extremely disappointing, so it’s not saying much if Silver Guardian stands out from the crop. The desire to cram in the future, heroic Suigin makes up for confusion and cramped story telling, by promising action packed content to look forward to that might appeal to anyone who wants their action served up in bite sizes.
Tom: Digital Manhua have a bad habit of turning out pretty poor. Anything from the animation to the writing usually leaves these anime feeling far lesser when compared with the medium’s usual standard. Right now The Silver Guardian seems to be an improvement over many past outings like Hitori no Shita: The Outcast, Soul Buster or Spiritpact. There’s always time for it to fall off the deep end like Bloodivores did, but I’m cautiously optimistic that The Silver Guardian will be a decently enjoyable watch.
The Silver Guardian is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.